Harley Quinn (TV series)

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Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn Title Card.jpg
Genre
Based on
Developed by
Voices of
Music byJefferson Friedman
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Dean Lorey
  • Justin Halpern
  • Patrick Schumacker
  • Kaley Cuoco
  • Sam Register
Editors
  • James Atkinson
  • Annie De Brock
  • Craig Paulsen
  • Charles Breiner
Running time23 minutes
Production companies
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network
Picture format
Audio format
Original releaseNovember 29, 2019 (2019-11-29) –
present
External links
Website

Harley Quinn is an American adult animated television series based on the DC Comics character of the same name created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. The series is written and executive produced by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey and follows the misadventures of Harley Quinn and her best friend/partner-in-crime Poison Ivy after leaving her boyfriend, the Joker. The show premiered on November 29, 2019 on DC Universe to critical success, with critics praising its animation, humor, dark tone and voice acting.

The show's second season premiered on April 3, 2020.[2] On September 18, 2020, the series was officially renewed for a third season, along with the announcement that the show would move to HBO Max, following the restructuring of DC Universe.[3]

Overview[edit]

The series follows Harley Quinn's misadventures after breaking up with the Joker upon the realization that he does not love her. The first season focuses on Harley's attempts to prove herself as a competent villain in order to join the Legion of Doom, starting with the formation of her own crew consisting of Poison Ivy, Clayface, Doctor Psycho, King Shark, and Sy Borgman.[4] When she finally achieves this goal, however, she inadvertently distances herself from her newfound friends and continues to face problems from the Joker, who cannot stand the idea of Harley being a successful supervillain without him. In the season one finale, the Joker manages to take over Gotham City, only to be defeated by Harley and her crew. In a final act of retaliation, he destroys the entire city, resulting in his and Batman's apparent deaths.

In the second season, Gotham has descended into chaos, allowing the newly-formed Injustice League — consisting of the Penguin, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, and Bane — to take over the city's ruins. After they refuse to let Harley join them, she works with her crew to take them down one by one in order to claim Gotham for herself; in the process unwittingly inspiring Barbara Gordon to become Batgirl. Meanwhile, both the Joker and Batman are revealed to be alive; albeit wtih the former now sane and with no memory of his old self while the latter, unable to fight crime due to his injuries, names Batgirl his temporary replacement as Gotham's defender until he recovers. Following the Injustice League's defeat, Commissioner Gordon restores order to Gotham while Harley begins to develop feelings for Ivy. Concurrently, Doctor Psycho leaves the crew to exact revenge on Harley for under-appreciating him, and manages to take over Gotham with a Parademon army he obtained from Darkseid. To stop him, Harley joins forces with the Justice League, Gordon, and the Joker; reluctantly restoring the latter back to his former self in the process. Although Psycho is defeated in the end, he retaliates by revealing Harley and Ivy had sex right before the latter's wedding with Kite Man. Though Ivy and Kite Man attempt to continue on, Gordon, annoyed that he did not receive any recognition for saving Gotham, attempts to bust their wedding. Amidst the chaos, Kite Man realizes Ivy does not love him and breaks up with her. While escaping from the police together, Ivy finally admits her feelings for Harley.

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Supporting[edit]

Guest voices[edit]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast releasedNetwork
113November 29, 2019 (2019-11-29)February 21, 2020 (2020-02-21)DC Universe
213April 3, 2020 (2020-04-03)June 26, 2020 (2020-06-26)
310TBATBAHBO Max

Season 1 (2019–20)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Til Death Do Us Part"Juan Meza-LeonDean Lorey and Justin Halpern & Patrick SchumackerNovember 29, 2019 (2019-11-29)
Following an unsuccessful yacht robbery, Harley Quinn is sent to Arkham Asylum, though she firmly believes that her boss and lover the Joker will break her out. A year later, her best friend, Poison Ivy, breaks her out during a prison break and tries to convince her that he does not love her. Despite Ivy's support, Harley's attempt to break up with the Joker fails after he sweet-talks her into staying with him. The Riddler provokes the Joker into sending Harley to kill him before capturing her and Batman and giving the Joker the choice to save one while the other dies. When the Joker ultimately chooses Batman, Harley finally realizes she never meant anything to him. After learning Ivy and Riddler devised the death trap to drive that point home and she was never really in any danger, Harley undergoes a costume change, officially breaks up with the Joker, and declares her intention to make a name for herself in the criminal underworld.
22"A High Bar"Matt Garofalo
Ben Jones
Frank Marino
Jane BeckerDecember 6, 2019 (2019-12-06)
Believing she has to join the Legion of Doom to prove herself as a supervillain, Harley attempts to make a big splash by crashing one of their criminal enterprises with Ivy's help. However, they accidentally crash a bar mitzvah for the Penguin's nephew, Joshua. When the Joker gets wind of Harley's presence and arrives at the party, Harley struggles to dissociate herself from him and prove to the attending villains, Bane, the Scarecrow, and Two-Face, how much better she is doing without him. This is exacerbated by her attempt to pull off a heist nearby, only to learn it was a staged heist with actors for Joshua to experience. Meanwhile, Ivy is relentlessly hit on by Kite Man, who inadvertently infects a group of boys with her pheromones; not realizing it will kill them by turning them into plants. They rush to her apartment to retrieve the antidote and return in time to help Harley fight off the other villains. Using her psychology background, Harley convinces them to stop taking abuse from Joker, forcing him to leave. Despite what happened, Harley remains committed to her goal of joining the Legion while Ivy cures the infected boys.
33"So, You Need a Crew?"Cecilia Aranovich HamiltonJess DweckDecember 13, 2019 (2019-12-13)
After the Joker hijacks a robbery she was committing, Harley realizes that she needs a crew to pull off legitimate heists and attract the Legion of Doom's attention. However, she struggles to recruit others to her cause due to her gender and past association with the Joker. After talking with the Queen of Fables, Harley decides she needs other downtrodden villains like her, and recruits Doctor Psycho, who was kicked out of the Legion by Lex Luthor for calling Wonder Woman and Giganta the "C-word" on national television, and Clayface, Gotham City's shapeshifting thespian extraordinaire. For their first heist, Harley decides to rob Maxie Zeus' Olympic gold medals as revenge for insults he made against her during her quest. Despite their initial struggles, they ultimately succeed after brutally beating up Zeus before Harley sells the medals to purchase a nuclear warhead and force Gotham into naming a highway after her. Upon making the news, the media begins to consider her a potential competitor for the Joker, much to his ire.
44"Finding Mr. Right"Juan Meza-LeonJess DweckDecember 20, 2019 (2019-12-20)
In search of a nemesis, Harley goes after Batman by stealing the Batmobile, but ends up with Robin, making her the laughing stock of the criminal underworld. Even worse, Robin appears on Tawny Young's talk show and lies about Harley agreeing to be his nemesis. After a failed attempt to get Superman to be her nemesis by kidnapping Lois Lane, Harley recruits King Shark into her crew, captures Robin, and threatens him into confessing he lied before revealing Young's talk show audience from behind a curtain to publicly humiliate him. When King Shark goes berserk after smelling blood, Batman arrives and subdues him before getting into a three-way brawl with the arriving Joker, Harley, and Ivy. The Joker ends the fight by kidnapping Robin and forcing Batman to pursue them. Much to Ivy's dismay, she and Harley's crew are evicted from her apartment by her cybernetic landlord Sy Borgman. Batman later comforts a rescued Robin and assures him he can wait until he is ready for his own nemesis.
55"Being Harley Quinn"Juan Meza-LeonAdam SteinDecember 27, 2019 (2019-12-27)
While shopping around for a new lair, Harley is unable decide what her "brand" is and goes into a fourth degree brain-freeze. Ivy has Psycho bring them, Clayface, and King Shark into Harley's mind and meet up with her consciousness. However, she accidentally triggers her mental defenses and locks them all in. While trying to find the "Emergency Exit" in her subconscious, Harley discovers her indecision comes from the belief her "origin story" was not her decision and that she altered her memory to believe that her becoming a villain was Joker's doing. Choosing the moment she broke up with him as her true "origin story", Harley somewhat cures herself. Meanwhile, Borgman finds Harley and the crew's comatose bodies and believes they committed suicide, so he takes them to an abandoned mall to cremate them. At the last minute, everyone wakes up and nearly kill Borgman. Upon seeing the mall however, Harley decides to make it their new lair and allows Borgman to join her crew after learning he was a former secret agent.
66"You're a Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon"Cecilia Aranovich HamiltonTom HyndmanJanuary 3, 2020 (2020-01-03)
Harley's crew steals a mysterious device from Wayne Enterprises, but Clayface's arm gets severed and comes to life. Becoming depressed after learning Batman fails to see him as a friend, Commissioner Gordon interrogates Clayface's hand for the location of Harley's crew, but ends up bonding with it. While Harley, Clayface, and King Shark try to recover the hand, Ivy and Psycho seek revenge on an online personality called the Cowled Critic for slandering them. King Shark is beaten by police officers and sent to prison while Ivy and Psycho learn the Cowled Critic is his estranged son, Herman, and makes amends with him. While in a shoot-out with Gordon, Harley discovers the device is a teleporter when it sends her to the Batcave. Once Harley realizes she had been selfish and ignoring her teammates, she encourages Batman to help stop Gordon after he starts obsessively defending the hand. Batman reconciles with Gordon, Clayface reabsorbs his hand, and Harley and her crew escape. As they celebrate, they realize they forgot King Shark and quickly break him out of prison.
77"The Line"Juan Meza-LeonLaura MoranJanuary 10, 2020 (2020-01-10)
When the Queen of Fables is transferred from her U.S. Master Tax Guide Book prison to Arkham Asylum, Harley frees her so she can join her crew and help them steal a personal force field device from S.T.A.R. Labs. When the Queen slaughters an innocent family who witnessed them, however, the horrified crew kick her out. They then use the force field device to steal a weather-controlling machine from Kord Industries to ransom Gotham, but the Queen shows up to steal it for herself. They are interrupted by Jason Praxis, a surviving member of the family with electrical powers who seeks revenge on the Queen for their murder. Harley uses the force field device to protect the Queen, subdue Praxis, and get her to leave. Killing Praxis on her way out however, the Queen tells Harley that only villains willing to cross any line can succeed and that she will regret letting her live. The crew later tries to program the weather machine, but accidentally cause it to self-destruct. Meanwhile, Ivy starts dating Kite Man, but his idiocy leaves her embarrassed to be around him in public.
88"L.O.D.R.S.V.P."Matt Garofalo
Ben Jones
Frank Marino
Tom HyndmanJanuary 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)
After Harley's crew steal Atlantean jewels, they are invited to join the Legion of Doom and Luthor even allows Psycho to be reinstated. However, he secretly reveals to Ivy that he is not actually interested in Harley and will not let her join unless she joins as well. Ivy refuses and tries to warn Harley of Luthor's treachery. Suddenly, Aquaman breaks into the Hall of Doom and beats up several villains while seeking revenge for Harley's theft, but she tricks him into breaking an aquarium and focus on saving the fish. As thanks, the Legion inducts Harley as an official member. Harley accuses Ivy of lying to her and they angrily part ways. Meanwhile, Psycho and Borgman deal with a mutant monster in their lair's basement. When Psycho tries to kill it, Borgman stops him, revealing the monster is his sister Mirielle, who was mutated because of his actions. Psycho uses his powers to let the siblings communicate and reconcile, but Mirielle is released into the streets and goes on a rampage. The next day, Harley and her crew minus Ivy go to the Hall of Doom, only to encounter the Joker.
99"A Seat at the Table"Cecilia Aranovich HamiltonJordan WeissJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
Much to Harley's surprise, the Joker congratulates her on joining the Legion of Doom, treating her as an equal. Harley reconciles with Ivy and promises to help her attack an environmentally unfriendly company called Planetwide Pavers. Unlike Harley however, her crew are treated as lowly henchmen and Bane hires them to help him get revenge on a clerk for always getting his name wrong. Harley attends a dinner date with the Joker to try to persuade him to convince Luthor to elevate her crew's status, but she has so much fun with him, she forgets to tell him. While planting a bomb for Bane, King Shark ends up being hospitalized after the former loses patience and detonates it early. When Batman pursues them, Joker kisses Harley before shoving her out of his helicopter to slow the Dark Knight down. While the crew and Ivy stand vigil over King Shark in the hospital, they see an out-of-context image of the Joker and Harley kissing on the news. When Harley arrives, they accuse her of taking advantage of them and cut ties with her. Later that night, Ivy tries to attack Planetwide Pavers by herself, but is captured.
1010"Bensonhurst"Colin Heck
Ben Jones
Laura MoranJanuary 31, 2020 (2020-01-31)
Depressed over her crew abandoning her, Harley returns home to her parents in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, but quickly becomes upset with her deadbeat father. Later that night, an assassin attacks them and kills Harley's grandmother before she is able to defeat him. Her father claims he owes a loan shark money, so Harley beats him and his goons to force them to leave her father alone. Meanwhile, Ivy finds herself trapped in a laboratory, but manages to use a dandelion to tell her sentient plant Frank to get Harley's help before learning that the Scarecrow is her captor. Another assassin attacks and kills Harley's grandfather before she defeats her. Suddenly, her parents attack her, explaining that someone put a bounty on her and they aim to collect. An enraged Harley defeats them, but chooses to spare them as they are not worth it. Just as Harley collapses from her injuries, Frank finds her and tells her Ivy is in trouble. Elsewhere, Bane discovers that Joshua Cobblepot put the bounty on Harley as revenge for her ruining his bar mitzvah and berates him for using a traceable credit card before destroying it to cancel the bounty.
1111"Harley Quinn Highway"Vinton HeuckAdam SteinFebruary 7, 2020 (2020-02-07)
Harley reunites her crew to apologize and request their help in rescuing Ivy. They agree, but only for Ivy's sake. Meanwhile, the Scarecrow harvests Ivy's pheromones so he can use them to destroy Gotham before poisoning her with his fear toxin, sending her into a panic. While Borgman protects their bodies Psycho brings the crew into Ivy's head, where Frank informs them that the only way to save Ivy is to destroy the thing she fears the most, which appears in the form of the Grim Reaper. Harley defeats the Reaper, but sees her face under the hood before she and the crew wake up. The Scarecrow tries to escape on the Harley Quinn Highway, but Borgman transforms into a car so the crew can give chase. Amidst said chase, Ivy tells Harley her fear is being abandoned by someone she trusted and that she resents her for being with the Joker instead of helping her. Harley attempts to make amends by blowing off the head of her statue to stop the Scarecrow, but he succeeds in poisoning the Gotham Reservoir and infecting the city's water supply with Ivy's pheromones; turning most of Gotham's trees into violent monsters.
1212"Devil's Snare"Juan Meza-LeonJane BeckerFebruary 14, 2020 (2020-02-14)
The Scarecrow starts crop-dusting fear toxin around Gotham's perimeters to force thousands of civilians towards the park with the murderous trees. As Batman tracks him down, the Justice League arrives to stop the trees. They assume Harley's crew is behind the attacks and attempt to send them to the Phantom Zone, but Ivy uses Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth to prove them wrong. Suddenly, the Queen of Fables traps the League in her fairy tale book before using a beanstalk to send Harley and her crew to be attacked by a giant cyclops. With Kite Man's help, they are able to return to the ground safely. Just then, the Joker appears with a large tower and destroys the Hall of Doom as he enacts his plans to take over Gotham and orders the Queen to kill Harley and her team. Ivy uses the contaminated water to grow into a giant and fight the trees while Harley defeats the Queen, decapitating her in the process. Just as Harley makes amends with Ivy, the Joker kills the latter.
1313"The Final Joke"Brandon McKinneyTom HyndmanFebruary 21, 2020 (2020-02-21)
Harley's crew, Frank, and Kite Man hold an impromptu funeral for Ivy before they join forces with Batman to avenge her. However, Clayface inadvertently ruins the plan and gets the crew and Batman captured while Harley is forced into hiding. His takeover largely complete, Joker spends the next week subjugating Gotham and brutally torturing Batman and the crew, only to get bored. Hoping to help, the Scarecrow unmasks Batman, but Joker kills the former for ruining the "mystery". Meanwhile, Harley revisits Ivy's grave, where Frank and Kite Man tell her the crew is going to be publicly executed, so she surrenders herself in exchange for their lives. Once her crew is safe, Harley tries to kill the Joker, but he overpowers her. Instead of killing her, he decides to drop her in acid that will render her "normal". At the last minute, a resurrected Ivy saves Harley and drops the Joker in the acid, though not before he destroys his tower and sets off an earthquake, destroying Gotham. Batman saves Harley and Ivy before disappearing in the debris. Reunited, the crew reflect on everything that has happened amidst Gotham's ruins while a "normal" Joker emerges from the rubble.

Season 2 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [19]Directed byWritten byOriginal release date [20]
141"New Gotham"Vinton HeuckAdam SteinApril 3, 2020 (2020-04-03)
Weeks after the Joker's defeat and Batman's disappearance, the President has declared the destroyed Gotham a no man's land and exiled it from the U.S. while Harley and her crew revel in the resulting anarchy and Robin tries to take up the mantle of Batman. The GCPD's surviving officers, with the exception of Gordon, have become outnumbered and unmotivated to restore law and order as various sections of the city have been taken over by the Penguin, the Riddler, Bane, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze; who have formed the Injustice League following the Legion of Doom's destruction. Harley disapproves of their control, especially after they give her a small amount of territory, and attempts to rebel against them, only to get herself captured. Months later, Ivy and the rest of the crew manage to break her out, giving her the chance to murder the Penguin and see that the rest of the Injustice League have taken over the rest of Gotham. Seeing as how she was the one who defeated the Joker, Harley believes she deserves to rule the city and vows to take out all of her rivals. Unbeknownst to everyone, paramedics find Bruce Wayne among the rubble.
152"Riddle U"Colin HeckSabreena JaleesApril 10, 2020 (2020-04-10)
After learning that the Riddler has power and clean water, Harley, Ivy, and Clayface make plans to infiltrate his stronghold, "Riddler University", while King Shark and Doctor Psycho venture through Two-Face and Bane's territories to secure a water filter. However, Harley nearly blows her cover after attacking the mascot in front of the tour guide, Barbara Gordon. Harley and Ivy track down Barbara to kill her before she can warn the Riddler, but she tells them she wants to stop him after deducing he was responsible for kidnapping students ever since he took over and that she procured invitations for a party at a fraternity house where the disappearances occurred. Harley and Ivy steal the invitations for themselves and Clayface and successfully enter the party, where they learn that the kidnapped students are being used as human batteries before the Riddler captures them. Meanwhile, dissatisfied with doing nothing, Barbara becomes inspired by her father, Commissioner Gordon, to stop Riddler herself. Despite being outnumbered, she manages to destroy the generator, subdue Riddler, and free everyone. Instead of killing the Riddler, Harley, Ivy, and Clayface use him to power the mall while Barbara makes the decision to become Batgirl.
163"Trapped"Brandon McKinneySarah PetersApril 17, 2020 (2020-04-17)
After a failed attempt to infiltrate Mr. Freeze's lair, Harley and her crew decide to steal Firefly's flamethrower from Doctor Trap's museum in order to melt their way in. Harley and Ivy recruit Kite Man and Catwoman to help them while the others have to locate the Riddler after he manipulated Psycho into facilitating his escape. During the theft, Ivy starts to question the direction her life is going in and finds herself under even more pressure as Kite Man tries to steal a ring from the museum and propose to her. To make matters worse, Catwoman betrays them and escapes on her own, leaving them to die until they manage to escape using the flamethrower. After beating Doctor Trap and heading home, Harley and Ivy help the rest of the crew recapture the Riddler, who decides to keep powering the mall for the time being. Afterward, Harley convinces Ivy that she does not have to feel ashamed about letting her past go, so the latter goes to find Kite Man and insists he pop the question again.
174"Thawing Hearts"Vinton HeuckTom HyndmanApril 24, 2020 (2020-04-24)
Harley, Clayface, Psycho, and King Shark successfully use Firefly's flamethrower to storm Mr. Freeze's lair, only to get captured. Freeze explains his many failed attempts to save his ailing, frozen wife Nora Fries before trying to use Harley as a human lab rat, but she convinces Freeze to let her call Ivy to find a cure and buy her crew time to kill him. While they wait, Freeze invites them to lunch and relates his history with Nora. Due to her experience with Joker however, Harley believes he is lying and that Nora is his prisoner, so she uses Freeze's gun to save her, only to learn she really is dying. An incensed Freeze threatens to kill everyone by detonating his lair unless Ivy finds a cure. Meanwhile, Ivy and Kite Man attempt to secure a wedding venue, but are forced to leave to save Harley and lose his preferred location to his nemesis, Condiment King. Ivy successfully creates a cure, but due to Nora's rare blood type, someone else has to take it, then give Nora a blood transfusion; which will kill them. Freeze volunteers and sacrifices himself for Nora, which Harley recognizes as an act of true love.
185"Batman's Back, Man"Juan Meza-LeonSarah Nevada SmithMay 1, 2020 (2020-05-01)
As the only Injustice League members left, Two-Face and Bane decide to team up in order to stand a better chance against Harley, but disagree on how to label their combined organization. Meanwhile, a recovering Bruce Wayne is desperate to pick up the cowl again even in spite of his butler Alfred Pennyworth's advice to rest and heal. When he learns that Batgirl is fighting criminals, Bruce becomes concerned that she is giving Gotham a false sense of hope and that it will die if she dies, so he tasks Lucius Fox with building him a high-tech Batsuit to compensate for his injuries. Batman initially has the upper hand in battle, but he sustains more injuries while fighting Bane before he is saved from Two-Face's men by Alfred and Batgirl; the former having also adopted a vigilante persona, the Macaroni. Understanding the value of having Batgirl around, Batman asks Commissioner Gordon to work with her while he focuses on recovering. Meanwhile, an upset Bane nearly kills Two-Face for leaving him out of their partnership, but the latter offers him a pit to do with as he wishes in order to keep him happy.
196"All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues"Juan Meza-LeonJamiesen BorakMay 8, 2020 (2020-05-08)
While spending a night together, Harley and Ivy encounter a living, sane Joker. Ivy tries to kill him, but Harley believes he has genuinely changed. To prove this, she recounts how she first met Ivy and Joker and changed her for the better. In a flashback, Dr. Harleen Quinzel had been asked by D.A. Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon to interview Joker about a bomb he hid in Gotham before he was imprisoned at Arkham. After a difficult first meeting, Harleen becomes inspired by a spiteful Ivy to ask about Joker's family. He tells her a heartfelt backstory about his abusive father to earn her trust before telling her the bomb is in Little Italy in exchange for having a private meal with her. While Batman and the authorities are distracted, Joker reveals he put the bomb in the prison chef nicknamed "Little Italy" and tries to kidnap Harleen. However, Ivy rescues her in return for a plant Harleen gave her. Once Harley finishes reminiscing, Ivy reveals Joker's backstory was actually hers before they bring in Doctor Psycho, who confirms the Joker has no memory of his old self. On their way out, Harley and Ivy get captured by Two-Face.
207"There's No Place to Go But Down"Colin HeckAdam SteinMay 15, 2020 (2020-05-15)
Harley and Ivy are put on trial in a kangaroo court held by Two-Face, with Bane as the judge and Man-Bat as their defense attorney. Against Harley's wishes, Ivy admits her role in their recent crimes, leading to both of them being sentenced to life imprisonment in Bane's subterranean rehabilitation center, the Pit. Despite seeing no way out, Harley and Ivy formulate a plan to escape after learning George Lopez is flying in for the upcoming talent show. Despite their initial plan going south when Lopez leaves, Ivy gives an inspiring speech about her recent life events in front of the other inmates and incites a riot; giving her and Harley an opportunity to escape. When Bane attempts to stop them, Harley sacrifices herself to stop him and allow Ivy to escape, though the latter is able to save the former before they share a kiss. Meanwhile, Gordon's self-confidence takes another hit after he fails to stop the Ratcatcher. When Two-Face storms his house, he plans to give up until Batgirl saves him and reveals her identity to him. With Gordon's confidence restored, the pair team up to take back the GCPD headquarters, with Gordon defeating and incarcerating Two-Face.
218"Inner (Para) Demons"Tom DerosierTom HyndmanMay 22, 2020 (2020-05-22)
With the Injustice League defeated, the President tasks Gordon with eliminating Harley before he can allow Gotham to rejoin the U.S. Batgirl tries to dissuade him, but Gordon rallies Gotham's citizens behind him to help. Meanwhile, Harley is struggling to reconcile her feelings over kissing Ivy. When Batgirl warns her of Gordon's plans, Harley decides to take over Gotham with an army. Together with an enthusiastic Doctor Psycho and a reluctant Clayface and King Shark, Harley steals Mister Miracle's Mother Box and uses it to travel to Apokolips, where she kills Granny Goodness with Psycho's help; earning Darkseid's respect and a Parademon army. Elsewhere, Ivy and Kite Man have brunch with his parents. When the former learns they only want metahuman grandchildren however, Ivy tells them off and convinces Kite Man to do the same. Gordon's army confronts Harley's, only to get slaughtered until Ivy arrives and makes Harley realize what she has done. Harley relinquishes control of the Parademons and lets Gordon win, enraging Psycho to the point of quitting the crew. When Harley tries to tell Ivy her feelings, Kite Man interrupts them, causing her to hide them once more.
229"Bachelorette"Christina SottaSarah PetersMay 29, 2020 (2020-05-29)
Harley, Ivy, Catwoman, Nora, and random friend from Ivy's past, Jennifer, head out to Themyscira for Ivy's bachelorette party; spending their weekend at a resort run by Eris. The girls enjoy themselves until Harley and Ivy get drunk and have sex. Ashamed, the latter vows to stay in her room for the rest of the weekend until the former lures her out after learning Eris hypnotized Queen Hippolyta to make her sell the island to LexCorp. The girls manage to thwart this scheme, freeing Hippolyta and celebrating their victory with more alcohol, leading to Harley and Ivy unwittingly having sex again. Meanwhile, Kite Man has his bachelor party on a yacht with Clayface, Frank, and King Shark until King is called back to his home by his father, the Shark God, for an arranged marriage to keep two shark clans from going to war. King Shark stands up to his father, and while he ends up getting married anyway, he still hopes to find true love someday. When they return from Themyscira, Ivy chooses to stay with Kite Man, stating that she loves and trusts Harley with her life, but not her heart; leaving Harley distraught.
2310"Dye Hard"Vinton HueckJamiesen BorakJune 5, 2020 (2020-06-05)
In an attempt to cope with Ivy rejecting her, Harley goes to a bar at Wayne Tower, only to find the amnesiac former Joker working there. Suddenly, a group of thugs attack, holding the customers hostage and handcuffing the two former lovers together. They manage to escape, discovering the thugs were a distraction so a newly muscular Riddler, who escaped from the mall again, could sneak in and steal a mind control helmet. Joined by Gordon, King Shark, Clayface, and Borgman, Harley and Joker quickly discover that Riddler is working with Doctor Psycho, who has sworn revenge on Harley for under-appreciating him, before he uses the helmet to enslave the remaining Parademons as well as Clayface and King Shark. Borgman gives his eye to Harley as a memento before sacrificing himself to help her, Gordon, and Joker escape. After realizing they need to free the Justice League from the Book of Fables, Joker mentions having several dreams about his past life, including the book, but he struggles to remember where it is. To jog his memory, Harley reluctantly brings him to Ace Chemicals and pushes him into a vat of acid to turn him back into the Joker.
2411"A Fight Worth Fighting For"Tom DerosierTom HyndmanJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
Emerging from the acid, Joker remembers starting a relationship with a nurse named Bethany after she found him and nursed him back to health six months prior. Under threat of a bomb Harley put in his head, Joker takes her to Bethany's house to get the Book of Fables. However, he enrages Bethany into tossing the book, which is subsequently grabbed by a Parademon. As Harley and Joker attempt to retrieve the book, he reflects on his relationship with Bethany and realizes he found true love while she does the same in regards to Ivy. After retrieving the book, the pair are rescued by Batman and explain the situation to him, only to realize the book is not the Book of Fables. Concurrently, Darkseid orders Psycho to kill Harley while Ivy and Kite Man try to prepare for their wedding. After Ivy's dress is damaged, she confronts Psycho, only for him to brainwash her. Returning to Bethany's house, Joker reconciles with her before Batman calls Zatanna to free the Justice League. Joker decides to resume his criminal lifestyle while maintaining his relationship with Bethany, and Harley decides to confess her feelings to Ivy just as Ivy arrives to kill her.
2512"Lovers' Quarrel"Christina SottaAdam SteinJune 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
Kite Man rescues Harley and takes her back to his apartment, where they use Borgman's eye to upload a digital version of him to Kite Man's electronics so he can help them build anti-mind control devices. Meanwhile, the Justice League defeat the Parademons, prompting Doctor Psycho to dispatch Ivy, Clayface, and King Shark to fight them after an impatient Darkseid arrives on Earth and threatens to kill him if he does not kill Harley soon. Though the League prevails again, Psycho has Ivy use her pheromones on them before bringing Harley back to the mall. Kite Man follows them and gives Harley a finished device before trying to free Ivy with true love's kiss, but to no avail. Psycho forces Ivy and Harley to fight, but the latter kisses the former, distracting Psycho long enough to free Ivy so Harley can give her a second anti-mind control device. Together, they easily defeat Psycho and impress Darkseid, who offers Harley his army and the Earth. However, she declines as she is not a supervillain anymore. Once Darkseid leaves, Psycho uses the last of his strength to show all of Gotham Harley and Ivy having sex, leaving Kite Man bewildered.
2613"Something Borrowed, Something Green"[a]Tom Derosier
Juan Meza-Leon
Sarah PetersJune 26, 2020 (2020-06-26)
Ivy convinces Kite Man to go through with the wedding after revealing she secured the venue he wanted. Meanwhile, on their way to Arkham and after listening to Gordon rant about not earning any recognition for saving Gotham, Two-Face convinces him to arrest all of the attending villains at Ivy and Kite Man's wedding so Gordon can earn public recognition and eventually run for mayor. Harley, having also been imprisoned at Arkham, initially refuses her crew's offer to break her out to attend the wedding, but upon learning of Gordon's plan from Two-Face, she teams up with him to escape. However, while trying to identify Gordon, she attacks the wrong person and enrages Ivy, who asks her to leave. Despite this, Harley foils Gordon when he gasses everyone in attendance, though she causes the wedding to turn into an all-out war between the villains and the GCPD. Frustrated and realizing Ivy does not truly love him, Kite Man breaks up with her and leaves. Harley and Ivy escape from Gordon together, sharing a kiss after Ivy confesses her feelings for Harley.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On November 20, 2017, it was announced that the then-unnamed DC Universe had ordered 26 episodes of Harley Quinn, a half-hour adult animated action-comedy series created and written by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Dean Lorey. Executive producers were set to include Halpern, Schumacker, Lorey, and Sam Register with Jennifer Coyle serving as a producer. Production companies involved in the series were slated to consist of Ehsugadee Productions and Warner Bros. Animation.[23] The first season consists of 13 episodes of the initial 26-episode order.[24] Animation work is provided by NE4U, Digital eMation and Maven Image Platform in South Korea.

In June 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere in 2019.[25] In October, it was further mapped as an October 2019 premiere.[26] It was also reported that Kaley Cuoco would also serve as an executive producer for the series through her production company Yes, Norman Productions.[27]

It was revealed that a second season was produced and would be available to stream on April 3, 2020, consisting of another 13 episodes.[28]

On September 18, 2020, three months after the second season finale, it was announced that the series would be renewed for a third season, and the series would move to HBO Max.[3] The third season will premiere sometime in 2021.

Casting[edit]

Alongside the series order announcement, it was reported that the producers of the series were expected to approach Margot Robbie, who portrays the character in the DC Extended Universe, to reprise the role; but this was false. In an interview after the season 1 release, Halpern went on record saying Robbie was kept in the loop, but she was never interested in playing the role since she was filming and producing Birds of Prey at the time.[23] Other characters expected to be featured in the series included the Joker, Poison Ivy, Sy Borgman, Doctor Psycho, Malice Vundabar, King Shark, and Clayface.[29][30][31]

On October 3, 2018, it was announced that Cuoco would voice Harley Quinn and Lake Bell would voice Poison Ivy. Additional voice actors in the series include Alan Tudyk as Joker and Clayface,[6] Ron Funches as King Shark, J. B. Smoove as Frank the Plant, Jason Alexander as Sy Borgman, Wanda Sykes as the Queen of Fables, Giancarlo Esposito as Lex Luthor, Natalie Morales as Lois Lane, Jim Rash as Riddler,[5] Diedrich Bader reprising his role from Batman: The Brave and the Bold as Batman himself,[9] Tony Hale as Dr. Psycho[5] and Christopher Meloni as James Gordon.[5][6] Shortly after, Rahul Kohli revealed he would voice Scarecrow in the series.[12] In June 2019, Sanaa Lathan was revealed to be voicing Catwoman, who was depicted as African-American.[14][32] On July 24, 2019, Vanessa Marshall revealed to be reprising Wonder Woman from Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox.[15] While on the following day, TV Guide revealed that veteran voice actor Charlie Adler has been confirmed to serve as the series' additional voice director with Schumacker and Lorey serving as the voice directors.[33] In February 2020, Alfred Molina was announced to be voicing Mr. Freeze.[16] In April 2020, Schumacker confirmed that Michael Ironside would be reprising his role as Darkseid from both the DC Animated Universe and the Lego DC Super-Villains video game.[11]

Music[edit]

Jefferson Friedman composed the music for the series. WaterTower Music released the soundtrack album for season 1 on August 21, 2020. The season 2 album was released on the same day.[34]

LGBTQ representation[edit]

In the Batman Multiverse, Harley Quinn (Dr. Harleen Quinzel) and Poison Ivy (Dr. Pamela Isley) started as friends.[35] In the comics, Harley and Ivy even referred to each other as "Pam-A-Lamb" affectionally which lead to the fandom shipping them together.[35] The writers took notice giving them moments of birthday kisses and showering together making their friendship more intimate.[35] Harley Quinn's and Poison Ivy's romance in the Batman universe began in Harley Quinn #1 when Harley whispers into Ivy's ear that the reason she "saves her" from the Joker is due to her romantic feelings for her.[36] However, it wasn't until in 2013 the Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti Harley Quinn comic series where they're shown in a romance couple instead of friendship.[36] Harley refers to Ivy is her "hot girlfriend" and the two are in an open relationship where they can pursue other partners while still dedicated to each other.[36] In other parts of the Batman Universe Harley and Ivy even got married in Injustice 2.[35]

In the May 15, 2020 episode "There's No Place to Go But Down" Harley Quinn saved her partner-in-crime, Poison Ivy; both kissed each other after they escaped from prison.[37] The critic who reviewed the episode stated that Harley and Ivy's romance was a "slow burn", adding that this love affair could turn into a "more realistic exploration of how it feels to fall in love with a friend or to have an awkward hookup with a workmate." Another reviewer, Sophie Perry, writing for a lesbian lifestyle magazine, Curve, noted how queerbaiting has long endured in LGBTQ+ representation, noting how She-Ra and Harley Quinn both had same-sex kisses, happening within stories which could have turned out to be "typical queerbaiting" but did not.[38] In another episode, Clayface, a member of Harley's villain crew, was revealed as gay character who had a crush on a male student.[39][40]

The series is currently being nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Release[edit]

Harley Quinn premiered on DC Universe on November 29, 2019.[41] On October 3, 2018, ahead of the annual New York Comic Con, a teaser trailer featuring Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Batman in Arkham was released.[42] A full, uncensored trailer set to Joan Jett's cover of the theme song from The Mary Tyler Moore Show was released on July 20, 2019 to coincide with the panel at San Diego Comic-Con.[43][44]

On December 8, 2019, the first episode was shown as a special presentation on TBS. Season 1 started airing on Syfy on May 3, 2020.[45] The series airs on Adult Swim in Canada, with new episodes airing a week after their American premiere.[46][47] The series started airing on E4 in the United Kingdom and Ireland on May 7, 2020.[48][49] The series debuted on HBO Max on August 1, 2020.[50][35]

An original short featuring Harley answering questions from fans was released online during DC FanDome in 2020.[51]

Reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, season 1 has an approval rating of 88% based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 8.25/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A strong voice cast and an even stronger grasp of what makes its titular antiheroine so beloved make Harley Quinn a violently delightful—and surprisingly insightful—addition to the DC animated universe."[52] Season 2 has an approval rating of 100% based on 20 reviews with an average rating of 9/10, and a critical consensus stating, "Harley Quinn maintains its frenetic energy and humor while doubling down on the shenanigans and giving its titular anti-heroine even more room to play."[53] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 82 out of 100, based on reviews from 7 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[54]

Caroline Framke of Variety wrote: "The animation feels like that of a typical Saturday morning cartoon, but its acidic scripts and shocking bursts of gore reminds you that Harley Quinn is taking full advantage of airing on a streaming service without censors. [...] Sharp voice performances across the board from actors clearly relishing the chance to play in this world also prove too fun to resist. [...] Most importantly, Harley gets to be an entire person all her own, as heartbreakingly naive as she is wickedly strange and funny."[55] Robyn Bahr of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "It's one of the best surprises of the year. [...] 13 zippy, violent and irreverent half-hour episodes. [...] The writing is frequently uproarious, chock full of Millennial nostalgia and cerebral gallows humor (the former may be low-hanging, rapidly-perishable fruit, but at least the show knows how to embrace its audience)."[56]

Home media[edit]

The first season was released on DVD on June 2, 2020 and the second season was released on February 16, 2021 by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The first two seasons were also released on Blu-ray in a box set by Warner Archive Collection on February 16, 2021.[57]

Digitally, the first two seasons are also available for digital purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.[58]

Season 3[edit]

According to Screenrant, Harley Quinn season 3 will not premiere until late 2021.[59] The shift from WarnerMedia announced their rebranding of DC Universe Infinite the change took place on January 21 2021.[60] An interview from the shows creators Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, they were "optimistic" despite the shift from DC Universe to HBO MAX and estimated late 2021 for Season 3.[59] Schumacker stated it was more difficult to produce, but it will be much simpler not having to create two seasons back to back. Halpern has stated in an interview with EW that season 3 will explore Harley's reaction to a half healthy relationship with Ivy as well as focusing more on Ivy's backstory as the previous two seasons were mainly focused on Harley.[61] Patrick Schumacker stated in an interview that new writers of LGBTQ+ have been hired because of the direction of season 2 and that it's a priority to diversify the staff for season 3.[62] Schumacker also revealed that Dean Lorey would no longer be available to return as showrunner for season 3 and would be replaced by new co-showrunners Chrissy Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein alongside him and Justin Halpern.[62] Composer Jefferson Friedman rumored there would be a musical episode coming.[63] Friedman also stated that he wanted to refresh the music to give identity for each character.[63] During an interview with Deadline Schumacker stated that his desire was to open season 3 on "an actual Zoom, where the GCPD is just being berated by the city of Gotham for their ineptitude".[64]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Originally titled "The Runaway Bridesmaid" when the episode first aired.[21][22]

References[edit]

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  34. ^ @jeffefferspin (August 21, 2020). "OK nerds, Harley Quinn S1 & S2 soundtracks are alive! I hope you enjoy them; they were a labor of love. Follow the link below to listen! #harleyquinn #harlivy #cobbsquad @TheDCUniverse @DCComics @hbomax @watertowermusic" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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External links[edit]